Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Nerys Ghemor, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Pegasus

    Pegasus Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Great story! Have you thought of making it into an audio series? I'd certainly listen!
     
  2. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Welcome!! Always nice to have a new reader! :)

    Wow...I don't have anything like the time for an audio series (it's tough enough just to write the story and work full time!), plus my voice isn't very well suited to such things.

    But, I'm glad to know you're enjoying the story!
     
  3. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As a recently decloaked lurker I would like to say that this is one of my favorite examples of Star Trek literature dealing with the complex and cunning Cardassian people. Long may it continue!

    Will my namesake make an appearance and does his story end the same way?

    Once again, Kudos!
     
  4. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Terrific combat sequences as the plan begins to fray at the edges. I loved the interplay between Alphas and Gammas, with the irony of the conversation being utterly lost on the Gamma speaking with Rebek over comms.

    What was that Dukat told Weyoun about there being a pecking order in any empire? :lol:
     
  5. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was something along the lines of:

    Gul Dukat " even amongst servants, someone has to be in charge"

    To which Weyoun replied:

    Weyoun: " That is just the kind of thinking that I would expect from you Dukat, interesting but somewhat petty"

    I may not have got the exchange right because it has been several years since I saw that episode.
     
  6. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hey, always glad to reel another lurker in!

    Technically, Damar's already made an appearance. Don't know if you saw his letter to Gul Macet, but you do get to see a little of his thoughts about himself and the rebellion.

    I don't envision Damar as a major character in the story, though, and I'm not changing anything we saw happen in the series. So, yes...Damar's story ends the same way. What canon events mean for these guys, though--that remains to be seen.

    Glad you think the combat sequence works! Now, that's just phase one...I figure the shield perimeter is a mile or two out from the base (due to the reasons you've just observed), so there's still a lot of space to cross between Point A and Point B...

    And yeah, Retal'atan definitely isn't the most observant of Jem'Hadar, at least when it comes to the signs of Cardassian cunning. ;)
     
  7. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks' for the clarification regarding Damar, I did read the letter to Macet from Damar but I was not sure if the Legate would appear in person at a later date.

    I wasn't sure if this tale would head off into an alternative universe(as they so often do!) so I was hoping that Damar would survive the war and become Cardassia's first Castellan.


    Will the late unlamented Legate Broca get a mention?
     
  8. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Everything up to WYLB is going to stick to canon, though I'm kinda going on my own assumptions about how long elapsed between battles. (It's a longer timespan in Sigils and Unions than some sources give.)

    After that...I'll only acknowledge the novels when I want to. ;)

    We shall see...I'm sure it won't be flattering.

    I think one Glinn Zebreliy Va'Kust is likely to have some especially nasty words about Broca, if you were to ever ask. Something about how that guy disgraced his entire prefecture from the day he took his first breath... (State or province, you could say, in our terms.) Though I think most people will be smart enough to figure out that Broca doesn't reflect on all of Nevot, yuck. It's kinda creepy when someone like that comes from your own backyard.

    Though come to think of it--and I only just now made this connection--that Broca rose to his rank despite so obviously being a little slimeball that would've been squished under Dukat's little finger otherwise, makes sense with the background I've given to the region of Nevot. It's Nevot where the majority of Cardassia Prime's remaining farmland is...so there are some VERY well-to-do families who own said land. I bet Broca bribed some people...VERY much unlike a certain glinn with rich parents who is EARNING his rank, thank you very much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  9. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    With regards to Broca and his amazing (and undeserved) rise to the rank of Legate and "Leader" of Cardassia prime, two thoughts strike me:

    1) Broca was only promoted because every other Gul and Legate had either joined Damar's rebellion and/or had been killed by the traitor Gul Revok. Weyoun wanted another puppet to play with, and Broca is the archetypal creep who can kiss Arse with the worse of them. Which brings me to thought number two;

    2) Broca owes his position to Dukat; this makes sense to me because of who Dukat is, namely a megalomaniac with a desire to be loved, such a person would surround himself with craven lickspittles who would agree with a praise his every move. After all Dukat's regime was based on very shaky foundations due to the execution of the leaders of the Cardassian Revolution of 2372 and most of what was left of the Central Command. Also, judging from the testimony (Sho'val?) of the late Ternkey Ghemor most of the Gul's where plotting to over throw Dukat.
    As he already had one competent aide de camp in Corat Damar, Dukat didn't need to have too many competent enemies near to him, therefore Broca makes a useful barrier between Dukat and the rest of the CC.

    I personally found Broca to be a total surprise to me when he first appeared in "Dogs of War" the man did not crime with any of the Cardassian's that we came to know and love. I wondered why they didn't make Gul Revok the new leader of the Union as he had destroyed Damar's Rebellion almost single handily!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  10. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think Broca was more easily controlled by Weyoun. Revok in a lot of ways was too similar to Dukat and Weyoun probably feared Revok deciding he no longer liked the Dominion and turning against him the way Damar did.
     
  11. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

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    Nice.

    I particularly like the gul's musings on the Federation and the perceived hypocrisy. While I do not agree with her I can see how she would get the impression that the Federation hides behind a dubious moral code.

    One of the most fascinating parts of your work is the alien/Cardassian perspective with which you tell your story. I guess sometimes I would prefer for those thoughts to be voiced in dialog instead but I certainly appreciate that these guys don't have the time for philosopical conversations right now. There'll be plenty of time for that later.

    Good stuff.
     
  12. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That kinda gels with my thoughts on the matter; after Damar it would be impossible to find a "loyal" Cardassian to serve the Dominion. Broca was not your typical Cardassian and for reasons beyond my understanding Weyoun decided that Cardassia needed a leader...:vulcan:

    I have always assumed that the Dominion had Revok killed after the rebellion was crushed, poetic justice of sorts.

    Anyway, I feel that I should apologize for turning this thread into a discussion of Broca and I will finish by asking;

    When is the next thrilling adventure of the Thirteenth Order arriving on our screens?:bolian:
     
  13. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for reading!

    Yeah, this was not the time for them to actually HAVE that discussion--not only would it take time, but Rebek couldn't afford to stir things up when she needs these people to cooperate.

    The thing is for me...I think sometimes the Federation IS hypocritical. And that incident with Bajor--at least as portrayed in the Terok Nor novels (which I do somewhat accept into my canon) was indeed an example, to me. To stand there and just let that happen, knowing full well what was going on, and then have the temerity to complain later when it became convenient...whoever made THAT decision has a lot to answer for.

    Not sure, but probably in a couple of weeks. Depends on how much time I'm able to spend writing!
     
  14. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think that had the Federation intervened regarding Bajor, the Cardassians would have gone to war, become a third-rate power because Starfleet would have dealt them a serious blow. A pathetic treaty would have been imposed on the Cardassians when they surrendered...it could make for an interesting MyrU story idea.
     
  15. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    One of the (many) things that bother me with how the Union has been portrayed in the Star Trek Universe is precisely relates to the above, namely Cardassia as a third or even Forth rate power. After all, the Union is (or rather was) one of the big four of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants and has been described as the leading military force in the AQ. I therefore would have reason to believe that a war between Cardassia and the UFP would not go down as easily as is outlined above, Starfleet might win it but they would know that they had been in a real war.

    With regards to the Occupation of Bajor, why does anyone seriously think that the Federation would move to liberate the Bajorian people? They are allies with the Klingon Empire which has conquered dozens of worlds and placed millions into slavery. Not to mention the RSE which made slaves out of their own kith and kin. I do detect a certain double standard here but then the Klingons are of course honorable so that makes it all right:rolleyes:

    Cardassia only become a third rate power after the Klingons launched their cowardly sneak attack on the Union and destroyed the Cardassian's industrial capacities, leaving millions on the brink of starvation and disease as well as destroying transport ships and outposts often killing over a quarter of a million Cardassians in one go.



    It's no wonder that Dukat made the Devil's deal with the Dominion, it was the only way he saw to save his people. ( I doubt that Dukat would have made that choice had he but known that it was a founder who lead the Klingon assault on the Cardassians, although Growon's paranoia and stupidly played a massive role as well.).
    The Klingons also helped to destroy the gains made by the Cardassian Revolution of 2372; namely a free and democratic Union that would have made peace with Bajor and the Federation as well as resolving the Maquis situation in a reasonable manner. Instead the Klingons had their dammiable war which gave the acien regime the opportunity to return to power and as a result unleashed the Dominion war on the AQ.



    Therefore I would argue that the Klingon Empire played a massive role in starting the war and should have been held to account for it.


    Here endth the rant...
     
  16. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While I am not as sympathetic to Dukat (well, the canon-universe Dukat!) as you, I agree with a lot of the points you've outlined.

    BTW, do you have an e-mail address? I would PM you, only I see you don't have the tenure for it yet.
     
  17. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would say that I am not a Dukat sympathizer, I think that the choices he made where dominated by the needs of his ego but that he was loyal to the Cardassian state if not to the Cardassian people. This is an important difference between himself and Garak and Corat Damar(whom i do sympathise with) and Broca who cares for nothing but himself.

    It's that complexity that makes the Cardassians such a compelling yet contradictory race ( And also great for alteration!)

    I do have an email address, but as a newbie I can't use all the wonderful goodies on this board until my two weeks are up. I will try to add to my public profile but I'm not sure that I can do that yet.
     
  18. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The primary reason that Cardassia invaded Bajor, and it was an invasion, is that they were resource-poor, having suffered either an environmental catastrophe or a severe man-made catastrophe. They had eschewed their religious (and enlightened?) past in return for a militarised and stricty-regimented state. Russia was very much like this in the past and I think that the Cardassians might well have been modelled as such. Starfleet, if they used decent tactical planning, would have almost decimated the Cardassian military and perhaps assisted the Detapa Council in overthrowing Central Command (and the Obsidian Order??). But they would still have finished the war as a minor power.
     
  19. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I agree with what you've said there and a full scale war with the Feds would have reduced Cardassia to a minor league player, hell even the all mighty Klingons and Romulans where sore afraid of large scale war with the UFP and it has been implied that they would lose such a war.

    Now judging from what the Klingons had to deal with when enaging the Cardassians I think that the Cardassian's would have had better tactical planning than starfleet and it seems that their ground forces are superior to the redshirts. So it would seem Logical :vulcan: to think that Starfleet would suffer serious losses in both liberating Bajor and defeating Cardassia's Military/Industrial Complex(basically dismantling the whole Union), plus because the Obsidian Order is still around the Cardies will enjoy greater Intel on Starfleet than Starfleet would have on them.

    However... the Federation has more resources and Starfleet enjoys a Technological advantage which along with the ever present writers fiat means that the UFP would be victorious over the CU in the event of an all out war. ( and if they can keep the Klingons out of the war, then Millions of people would not be massacred during the course of the War).
     
  20. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    OK...you guys can have your next installment early! It might be 3 weeks before the next one, but I thought I'd go ahead and post.

    --------------

    I know that look, Glinn Thouves Daro thought with an instinctive chill: Chief Librescu just wouldn’t stop staring at him. Spirodopoulos had informed the Hăzăkda man of what battlefields the chief’s last infantry experience came from…and that the two terhăn-çăs held the same rank wasn’t helping the parallel.

    It’s not you I hate, Cardassian. I hate what I became because of you.

    If only you’d recognized me, Daro wished, if only I could have reached you…

    Daro shivered. He didn’t need this now, not while he had a mission to accomplish. He considered asking Lieutenant Yupanki to have a word with Librescu: not only was it unnerving on a personal level, but it certainly wasn’t the example the Bajoran boy, Webene, needed to see from his ragoç. He decided against it, though—Librescu was at least on board enough with the rebellion that he wore Cardassian armor, and there was no sense drawing his mind back to the point of decision.

    I am a soldier and servant of the Cardassian Union. There is no place for childishness in the service of Cardassia. One repetition of the mantra was all it took to still his mind into proper discipline for the moment at hand.

    Yupanki’s scanner beeped. She stared warily at the Cardassian device until Daro leaned over, pointing at the flashing spot on the screen. “That’s a proximity alert—Iymender’s let them see me.”

    The lieutenant switched to visual scan. “Got any Jemmies?” Librescu asked.

    Nohp,” Yupanki replied; Daro’s translator rendered that as a colloquial version of the Cardăsda negation tho. “Go fish.”

    That raised an eye ridge for Daro. True, he’d been around more than his fair share of explosions in his younger years, but his hearing couldn’t be that bad. He filed the expression away in a mental drawer marked ‘for research later’—if there was a later.

    “Got any C—”

    Yep,” Yupanki answered, deftly cutting off the chief. “Twelve strong.”

    “Good. All weapons on stun; shoot the instant they come into scanner range; we can’t let them report their findings. We’ll sort them out when they come to. Remember—the more we turn to our side, the better…especially if the Jem’Hadar are staying behind to defend the base.” He knew this well: few things challenged a soldier worse than fighting from corridor to corridor into a heavily-fortified facility full of rooms, nooks, and crannies where the enemy could hide. And creatures capable of shrouding themselves from sight in such an environment…all the worse.

    The glinn listened for the telltale chirp as each rifle powered down to its lowest setting. Daro dared not signal Spirodopoulos and the other team; the investigating troops were early, and he hoped they’d already made it into position. He waved the other members of his team out of sight.

    Satisfied, he stood. The team let him go in silence as he began his solemn, solitary procession down the hill where not for the first time in his life, he faced the very real prospect of dying at his own people’s hands.



    Mike Spirodopoulos couldn’t help but shake his head at the contemplative Cardassian glinn as he strode out to meet the oncoming platoon without even raising his rifle. The base soldiers had split into two units of six, with one heading straight for Daro. The rest fanned out over the basin in the standard search pattern Ragoç Ador had described.

    Oh, the irony—here he goes doing exactly what he warned me not to…


    But the soldiers’ reaction to what he did next proved Folani’s suggestion had been dead on the mark. Neither he nor the Bajoran was exactly clear what it was in Glinn Daro’s past that had so chastened Gul Speros, nor had anyone been too forthcoming on the matter, but Folani had postulated a few minutes earlier that whatever it was, his presence might act as a lightning rod, a way for them to take down the search team before they thought to signal their findings back to base.

    Their point scout paused as he made positive identification. “It’s that sand-hound traitor from the Trager!” ‘Traitor’ held the seriousness of an obscenity in Cardăsda. As for ‘sand-hound,’ Spirodopoulos wasn’t exactly sure what that was, but judging from how ferociously the similarly beige-hued Speros gritted his teeth, he would lay latinum on ethnic slur. “I’ll bet he did all of this!”

    “Thouves Daro! What in the name of the Union is he doing out here?

    At the same time, a grey-haired soldier threw himself at the point scout, slamming him flat onto the earth, kicking up a cloud of ashen dust. “Don’t you dare call anyone a traitor, Dominion bootlicker! And especially not that man!”

    A female soldier’s hand worked its way towards her wristcomm.

    “Fire!” Spirodopoulos shouted.

    Eyes turned towards the overlook, but the Cardassian investigators had no time to react: stun beams streaked to encompass them from their left and right flanks, two from each side at a wide dispersal—enough to take down the entire squad, but reducing the beam intensity enough that they would stir soon.

    “Bring them to us!” Gul Speros ordered. “Don’t take your eyes off them for a second!” As if to illustrate, Speros stared hard at the Greek officer as he and the rest of the two teams scrambled to comply.

    At that, Spirodopoulos gulped: he realized then exactly what he’d done. Back on AR-558, he had so often found himself in the role of literally being the one to call the shots that when the critical moment arose, he’d acted out of instinct. If Folani, zh’Thessel, or one of his bunkermates had spotted the threat before him, he wouldn’t have begrudged them the decision to take the initiative—but there was no doubt: Macet and Berat might regard him much like their equal, as Rebek also seemed to do, but to Speros, he was an alien of subordinate rank who had no business overriding a gul’s authority. Whether or not Speros was aware of it, Spirodopoulos could hear the exact Cardăsda word he chose every time he spoke to him or any of the Starfleet soldiers: o’çad, the second person subordinate address.

    And in Gul Speros’ eyes, he had just violated the chain of command.

    Ensign Folani reached the pile of unconscious Cardassians first. “Hold!” Speros barked.

    Folani cut her eyes over at Spirodopoulos who had just scrambled down behind her, clearly asking permission to defy the cantankerous gul’s orders. Mike shook his head even though it was quite obvious Speros mistrusted the Bajoran.

    “I want these soldiers taken back to our position. If they cause trouble—kill them. This one—” He glared daggers at the foulmouthed individual who had railed so crudely against Glinn Daro. “—this one is mine.”

    Spirodopoulos wordlessly bent down, hoisting onto his shoulder the grey-haired ragoç who had come to Daro’s defense, then stepped aside to let Speros take his chosen prisoner.

    Just as they made it back up the hill, the old ragoç let out a muffled groan. The Greek lieutenant commander lowered him gently to the ground, though he trained his disruptor pistol on the man just out of arm’s reach. The Cardassian’s grey eyes fluttered open, but they stared blearily into the sky. Spirodopoulos gave him a few seconds to focus, then announced himself. “Good morning,” Spirodopoulos said, rather more flippantly than he had intended. “Try anything and I’ll stun you again.” And buy myself some time to decide if I can carry out Speros’ orders or not.

    The elder soldier lifted his head—and when his eyes converged upon the sight before him, a bewildering array of emotions played across his face all the way from astonishment to amusement to horror. Finally he settled on a response. “Ha…I never thought I’d live to see the day! So you settlers have finally given up that Maciy nonsense and accepted your place as Cardassian territories, have you?” Then his eyes narrowed. “Unless you killed someone for that armor…”

    “You mean the colonies of the Demilitarized Zone? No, that’s not where we’re from. And no—I didn’t kill anybody for this.” He gestured to the right-side rib of the triangular cuirass, drawing the man’s attention to the lack of rank and unit inscriptions. This seemed to mollify him slightly, though from the expression on his face he seemed no less befuddled. “We’re fighting the Dominion. It’s a long story we haven’t got the time for, but…” Someone moved at the edge of Spirodopoulos’ field of vision. Perfect—a man I know this guy already respects. “Glinn Daro!”

    The Hăzăkda glinn detoured and knelt down at Spirodopoulos’ side. “Kiba’avzayn, Ragoç…I apologize for shooting you, but we had to—it was the only way to separate friend from foe. What this man says is true: we are indeed fighting the Dominion. The guls of all four ships in orbit are committed, and these Starfleet soldiers are with us. Tell me—is your loyalty to Cardassia, or the Dominion that claims to represent it?”

    The ragoç raised an eye ridge. “I suppose you would kill me if I refused to join your rebellion?”

    Daro replied with a subdued nod. “Ve’,” he stated in a somber tone, his vocal cords tightened a bit longer than necessary for that final glottal stop. Yes. What struck Spirodopoulos in that moment was just how far Daro’s demeanor was from the sadistic delight he would have expected to accompany such a statement—especially from a Cardassian. Nor was it the blank, Borglike delivery of a psychopath. There was emotion there...that of a man who did not particularly relish what his duty called him to do, but would serve faithfully given the necessity. “And obviously betrayal must be dealt with in the same manner. And you may still die in action if you join us.”

    “At least then I’ll do so with a clear conscience,” the career soldier replied.

    “Then you renew your oath to Cardassia, to help us drive the Dominion from our homes? Tell me your name and swear it.”

    Ragoç Tulmar Nedav—and you have my word.”

    “Then I bind you to that word, Ragoç Nedav,” Daro replied with the sort of diction that suggested centuries-old ritual. “Serve Cardassia and Cardassia will remember you. Betray Cardassia and Cardassia—through us—will have justice.”

    Daro extended his hand to Nedav then and helped the older man to his feet. “You know,” Nedav mused to the Trager XO, “they’re wrong about you. Vuraal deserved to die: all he and guls like him have done was lay the groundwork for the situation we’re in now. And you were one of the only ones clearheaded enough to see it and bravehearted enough to act. I can’t tell you how fortunate we all are that you were the one to live. And to see you here with them…” Nedav gestured towards Spirodopoulos. “It makes this a little easier to trust in.”

    Daro smiled faintly; his eyes, though aimed at Nedav, focused on something very specific, very far away. Spirodopoulos burned with curiosity as to exactly what it was Daro had gotten himself involved in all those years ago…but that haunted look on the Cardassian man’s face dissuaded him. He knew that expression; he’d seen it on the departing soldiers the first day he beamed into AR-558, and he’d seen it appear on the faces of his own comrades as the gruesome days and the dread-filled nights unfolded.

    Somebody shrieked in pain. Then the incoherent shouting resolved into clear words. “Damn you!” Ensign Folani howled. “You ungrateful little snake—I was trying to help you!” Spirodopoulos, Daro, and Nedav made a quick about-face to see the Bajoran ensign’s fingers bleeding profusely from what looked an awful lot like a bite wound.

    And a lithe Cardassian garheç with the body of a triathlete and a glaring swirl of scorched duraplast on her cuirass stood now, an eerie grin that spread almost to her jaw ridges—with two rows of crimson teeth forming the centerpiece.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009